As I write these word, we are already a month into this New Year. I wonder how many people in our churches began 2023 by making some New Year’s resolutions? The most common of these resolutions are: losing weight, exercising, eating healthier, getting out of debt, saving money, and spending more time with family. These are all good and noteworthy resolutions that will certainly benefit us. However, how many of us started this new year with some spiritual resolutions or, better yet, spiritual disciplines for 2023? If you did make a commitment to some spiritual disciplines, I pray that you will follow through with them and they become a part of your everyday life. If you started and failed, you can start over again. If you did not commit to any spiritual disciplines it is not to late to start today!
I want to mention just a few spiritual disciplines that each of us should commit ourselves to. With each of these I will add a brief comment and a scripture reference.
~Reading the bible daily and memorize one verse of scripture each week. The Bible is God’s personal letter to each of us. It tells us about His love. It opens to us the mind of God, the heart of God, and the plan of God. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105.
~Pray. Spend meaningful time each day in prayer. As God speaks to us through His Word, we have the tremendous privilege of speaking to Him through prayer. Hebrews 4:16 affirms this privilege; “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
~Gather regularly with God’s people in church. This is a great means of encouragement, support, fellowship, and equipping. “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together…” Hebrews 10:25.
~Share your personal story. Make it a point to tell others about what Jesus has done for you. “…Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of hope that is in you…” I Peter 3:15.
~Serve others. When we serve others we are showing them the love of Jesus and modeling genuine Christianity. “…Whosoever will be great among you shall be your servant.” Mark 10:43.
These are very significant spiritual disciplines. If we are faithful in being committed to them, we will be more like Jesus, our churches will grow and become much healthier, and God’s Kingdom will flourish. May 2023 be our best and most blessed year yet.
I Corinthians 2:2